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Remove EXIF header data to allow iPhoto2 import Apps
Now with iPhoto2 and iMovie3 out, I actually plan on using those iLife Apps. So I started to look deeper into why iPhoto refused to import the pictures from my digital camera. I have an Agfa CL30, and whenever I tried to import pictures from it it gave me "The files could not be imported (they may be an unrecognized file type or the files may not contain valid data)." Well, I knew that was incorrect, every other program that read JPEGs read these files.

The problem was that the EXIF headers in these files were mostly empty. EXIF headers contain information about the picture that the camera has filled in for you. The most useful of these fields is the date that the picture was taken. You can use jhead to remove those headers entirely. After I did that, iPhoto imported those pictures perfectly. So to remove the EXIF headers from your JPEGs:
  1. Download and unstuff jhead [17K]
  2. Make it executable by doing chmod 755 jhead
  3. Run jhead with '-de' option like this:
    ./jhead -de /path-to/pictures/*
Just to be safe I would back up your originals first.

[Editor's off-topic aside: I would like to point out that this is the 3,000th hint to appear on since our launch in November of 2000 ... no wonder my fingers hurt!]
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Remove EXIF header data to allow iPhoto2 import | 12 comments | Create New Account
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congrats rob!
Authored by: imroot on Feb 04, '03 10:30:40AM

Another milestone, keep up the good work!

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only if you have too
Authored by: kyrrigle on Feb 04, '03 11:08:33AM

this probably goes without saying, but I'd only strip out the EXIF info if you absolutely have to... that info tends to come in handy...

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Re: only if you have too
Authored by: jiclark on Feb 04, '03 11:41:50AM
I second that. And I'm afraid I won't be moving to iPhoto 2, now that I hear reports like this. I definitely want, and use, the EXIF data on my photos. It can be extremely helpful in finding out how a particular shot was taken (shutter speed, ISO, etc.), as well as when. Plus, I still don't like the way iPhoto insists on organizing my photos for me, in an unmodifiable hierarchical system. Does it still not allow renaming of the individual files as well?

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Re: only if you have too
Authored by: cparker on Feb 04, '03 12:50:27PM

This isn't a problem in iPhoto 2.0, it was a problem with ALL versions of iPhoto. So this is nothing new...

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Re: only if you have too
Authored by: SeanAhern on Feb 04, '03 03:58:18PM
I wish it were hierarchical! I wouldn't call having only one level of the hierarchy "hierarchical". If I could create subfolders, that would at least be something.

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iPhoto and EXIF
Authored by: aaronclyon on Feb 04, '03 11:49:37AM


iPhoto does properly recognize EXIF data from my camera, a Canon S45. You can Get Info on any photo in iPhoto and see date and time, aperature, shutter speed, etc.


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Agreed; just some cameras...
Authored by: robg on Feb 04, '03 12:42:20PM

As the author noted, it's just some cameras that have this prolbem - I also have a Canon (the S30), and the EXIF data is read without any problems.


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Your fingers hurt?
Authored by: evands on Feb 04, '03 06:26:15PM

I just got a new Logitech keyboard which is proudly emblazoned with the following hot-coffee-at-McDonalds inspired warning:

WARNING: Some experts believe that the use of any keyboard may cause serious injury.

So that explains that.


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No EXIF = Useless App for Me
Authored by: mholve on Feb 05, '03 01:00:13AM
I'm a digital photographer, and if it came down to a choice between EXIF data and iPhoto, well, guess what. Quite honestly, I haven't used iPhoto all that much, and took only a brief look at the new version. I still use iView MediaPro for my organizing, cataloging, etc. needs - one very fine app. Just wish there were more templates out there for Web galleries. Just been too lazy to make my own, though I've hacked at a few.

If you're serious about your photos, keep the EXIF data. If you're looking to just shoebox all those random snapshots, then perhaps no big deal.

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GEEZ People!
Authored by: cparker on Feb 05, '03 11:55:05AM

Yes, EXIF data is GOOD. If iPhoto likes your EXIF headers, then BULLY for you. AND yes, you SHOULD keep that information then.

But, IF because iPhoto is a crappy program AND it refuses to handle your images, AND the EXIF data has no particular use for you, then you can use this to blow it away, and make iPhoto a useful program for you.

I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition! :)

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add EXIF header data to allow iPhoto2 import
Authored by: LouieNet on Feb 22, '04 09:37:50PM
If you're having this problem and you want to keep the rest of the EXIF data, wouldn't it be better to fix the date?

G4 cube, 1152M RAM, OS X Server 10.2.8
17" Powerbook G4, 1G RAM, OS X 10.2.8

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Remove EXIF header data to allow iPhoto2 import
Authored by: borgendorf on Aug 20, '10 01:14:06PM

Here's the most recent link to jhead

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit Flies like a banana.

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